Traditional vs. Transitional Kitchen DesignCapitol Design Build
When browsing kitchen design galleries for inspiration, you may find yourself attracted to some styles more than others. You may not need to know the names of different styles to recognize what you like, but it helps if you’re trying to communicate your personal style to a kitchen designer.
Two of the most popular kitchen design categories today are traditional and transitional. Due to their similar names, homeowners often get them confused. Do you know the difference between the two?
Traditional Kitchen Design
Some people mistakenly believe that “traditional” means “old-fashioned.” If you’re picturing your grandma’s 1960s kitchen with floral wallpaper and linoleum floors, you’ve got it all wrong. Consider some of the design elements you’ll find in a traditional kitchen.
- Furniture-grade cabinets: “Elegance” is the word that comes to mind when describing traditional cabinets. They feature crown molding and trim, elaborate door panels, decorative hardware, and the occasional glass insert.
- Natural countertop materials: Granite, marble, soapstone, and quartz counters are all common. Countertop edges may also be rounded or beveled for a graceful look.
- Ornate detailing: It’s typical to find textured backsplash tiles, islands with decorative pillars or brackets, and chic faucets.
- Aesthetic lighting: In a traditional kitchen, the shape of a light fixture is just as important as how much illumination it provides. You’ll find under-cabinet lighting, decorative pendants, and even chandeliers.
- Neutral color scheme: Natural materials and muted colors are common in traditional kitchens.
Transitional Kitchen Design
This design gets its name because it lies somewhere between traditional and modern. It incorporates elements from both styles with a focus on practicality and creativity. Blending concepts from two distinctly different styles may leave you feeling uncertain, which is why working with a professional designer is the best way to pull off a transitional kitchen design.
- Relatively simple cabinets: Expect to find some detailing—such as beaded, Shaker, or raised panel doors—sometimes with contrasting finishes.
- Mix of natural and artificial materials: Stone countertops are common, but so are stainless steel appliances.
- Minimal crown molding: Because transitional leans more toward clean lines, there may only be simple baseboards and little to no crown molding in a transitional kitchen.
- Traditional, modern, or industrial lighting: Being an in-between style means many types of light fixtures work in a kitchen with this design.
- Neutral color scheme: As with traditional kitchens, transitional spaces tend to incorporate muted colors, such as white, black, brown, and gray. Brightly colored cabinets or countertops are typically reserved for modern kitchens.
No matter where your preferred design style sits on the spectrum from traditional to contemporary, Capitol Design Build has the experience and industry-leading techniques to make your dream kitchen a reality. Our design team will work closely with you to incorporate every feature you request while suggesting additional ideas you might never have thought of. Call us today at 703-436-6919 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation kitchen design estimate.